DOTr orders ‘one-seat-apart’ rule in all public transportation to aid in economic recovery

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday ordered all  transportation sectors to implement the “one-seat apart” rule to increase public transport capacity to support the reopening of the economy

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said it ordered the immediate adoption of the one-seat apart rule to increase the present capacity in public utility vehicles (PUVs), and gradually increase capacity, or allow sitting together— provided that plastic barriers are placed in between passengers, or that UV lights are used.

This, after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and his Cabinet decided to approve the recommendations proposed by the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) to aid in economic recovery. 

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will be issuing a clarificatory memorandum circular explaining in detail the “one-seat apart” rule and the use of measures to increase capacity while ensuring safety of passengers, such as the use of plastic barriers to separate passengers, or UV lights, inside PUVs.

In addition, Tugade directed the LTFRB to open up more public transport routes and authorize more roadworthy units, such as provincial and city buses, as well as public utility jeepneys. 

He also ordered the agency to allow the operation of additional transport network vehicle services (TNVS), and taxis. 

Under the current policy, there is no cap on the number of additional taxis and TNVS units to be deployed for as long as they are duly-accredited by the Transport Network Corporations (TNCs) for purposes of contact tracing, are authorized to operate (with appropriate CPC or P.A.) and, more importantly, are compliant with public health protocols set by IATF.

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